- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — A judge on Monday set bail at $30 million for a Northern California man accused of kidnapping a girl and holding her captive for 18 years.

In setting the high amount, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister cited the serious nature of the charges, injuries to the girl and the fact that Phillip Garrido was on parole at the time of the alleged abduction.

Mr. Garrido, 58, and his wife, Nancy Garrido, 54, have pleaded not guilty to 29 charges of kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment and have been held without bail in an El Dorado County jail.

The couple are accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard from her home in 1991 and holding her captive in a backyard jumble of tents and sheds for nearly two decades. Authorities say Mr. Garrido fathered two daughters with Miss Dugard.

Mrs. Garrido continues to be held without bail, something her attorney did not object to during Monday’s hearing. Mr. Garrido is unlikely to be released because of his parole violations, even if he could raise the money.

He appeared in court with a bandage on his nose and a newly grown gray beard. He and his wife both appeared solemn during the 10-minute hearing, during which the judge granted a request by Mr. Garrido’s attorney, Susan Gellman, for a psychiatric evaluation of her client.

Mrs. Garrido’s attorney, Gilbert Maines, reserved the right to request one.

Ms. Gellman told the judge several law enforcement agencies have sought to interview her client about other cases they are pursuing.

“He does not consent to be questioned for any purposes,” Ms. Gellman said.

The judge said Ms. Gellman would notified of any interview efforts.

Outside court, District Attorney Vern Pierson told a throng of media from around the world that investigators were continuing to pursue other leads in the case.

“As of today there are no additional charges … that’s not to say there won’t be,” he said.

He said Miss Dugard and her children were doing exceptionally well under the circumstances after being reunited with Miss Dugard’s mother shortly after the Garridos were arrested Aug. 27.

“Basic human decency mandates honoring the family’s request for privacy,” he said.

He declined to comment on rumors that Ms. Dugard, now 29, has agreed to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Before Monday’s hearing, Deputy District Attorney Trish Kelliher filed a declaration seeking higher bail for both suspects, citing the serious nature of the crimes and saying they should be considered flight risks.

She also said in the court filing that a stun gun was used to subdue the victim when she was kidnapped from a South Lake Tahoe street in 1991.

Both defendants are due back in court for an Oct. 29 hearing.

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